In recent years, before the recent rash of status matches by hotel chain giants Hilton and Hyatt, there were very few outright status matches. Other than actual stays, some hotel chains offer status challenges and other methods of fast-track status. Others grant elite status based on having various credit cards.
The big exception was Kimpton, which over the past few years offered one of the most generous status matches known to mankind. It was simple: show proof of status, and poof, you are Kimpton Karma Inner Circle. I’ve always loved Kimpton hotels (and still do), but when I held Inner Circle status, I was catapulted into a year-long euphoric state.
This is what the Kimpton website currently states about status matches:
INNER CIRCLE RECIPROCITY QUALIFICATIONS
Elite members of other hotel loyalty programs can qualify by:
If you’re an elite member (in a comparable tier level to Inner Circle; subject to our discretion & review) of another hotel loyalty program and want to match your status to Kimpton Karma Rewards, just email KarmaHelp@KimptonHotels.com with a copy of your credentials and we’re happy to make you a part of our Inner Circle family.
Determination of qualifying elite status will be made at Kimpton’s sole discretion. You may apply for Inner Circle Reciprocity just once.
Your status will be valid for the remainder of the calendar year in which you were granted Inner Circle status. If you do not meet the Inner Circle status criteria during that year (14 eligible stays or 40 eligible nights) your Inner Circle status will not be extended. Note, members who were granted Inner Circle reciprocity status in 2014 will enjoy status for all of 2015.
Today, however, I was speaking about Kimpton’s Inner Circle reciprocity program with a Kimpton Karma Advisor and was told that the status match program is not being offered in 2016. These are the only details that I know of at the moment (though I have asked for more details).
I do not know if the discontinuation of the program reflects the fact that Kimpton is moving closer in it’s merger plans with IHG, or just that there has been a saturation of Inner Circle members by this rather too good to be true reciprocity program. However, since this above-quoted text still appears on Kimpton’s website, those who have equivalent status with another hotel loyalty program might want to try to apply for a match to Inner Circle now.
To be continued… maybe. Probably.